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Local business makes donation to Central Elementary
Local business makes donation to Central Elementary
Sabrina Kapp
Saturday, August 11, 2018

When 1975 PHS graduate Dennis Gibbs thought about his passion for cycling and the role it plays in his grandchildren's lives, he decided to do something to help share that passion with more children.

Students receiving their helmets from GearUp Cyclery

This summer, Gibbs donated 20 children's bicycles and helmets to Central Elementary. The Central PTO donated "trainers," which turn the bikes into stationary cycles, to extend the use of the bikes for indoor use.

Daniel Gibbs, reviewing safety information with one of the Central students

But Gibbs didn't stop there. Working with Eli Wheeler, another PHS grad and the P.E. teacher at Central, he developed a cycling curriculum that includes balance, safety, bicycle mechanics, proper hydration and riding techniques.  In fact, every Tuesday morning this summer, Wheeler and Gibbs rode bikes and worked on lessons that Wheeler will be teaching throughout the school year.

Mr. Wheeler explaining the gift of bicycles to his students

So this morning marked the official celebration of the donation. Central students gathered at Plainfield's Town Hall (just across the street from GearUp Cyclery, which is located at the corner of Main and Center streets) to be fitted with helmets and bikes, and to get their instructions for delivering the bikes to Central. 

Dr. Mary Giesting, Director of The Imagination Lab, thanks Dennis Gibbs and his family for their donation of bicycle and helmets, on behalf of GearUp Cyclery, to Central Elementary

Dr. Mary Giesting, Director of The Imagination Lab, thanked the Gibbs' Family for their generous support of both Central Elementary and The Imagination Lab (they've donated a bicycle and trainer to the lab for energy-related odysseys). In their spare time, Mr. Gibbs and his wife (who previously taught 1st and 2nd grades in Mooresville) will be volunteers at the lab!

Dennis Gibbs with some final instructions

She is ready for the ride!

The Gibbs Family and the Central students who rode their new bikes to Central Elementary

With the Gibbs family taking the lead and bringing up the rear (three generations of riders!), plus some experienced GearUp friends mixed into the pack, the students rode the school's new bikes from Town Hall, south on Center to Buchanan, then east to Wabash, making the final turn to the Central parking lot. 

Heading out!

A great send-off from parents, friends and family!

As part of the safety planning for today's ride, Plainfield police took the led the pack, stopping traffic  and ensuring that cars stayed out of the way, while Plainfield Fire Territory brought up the rear in an out-of-service truck. #SafetyFirst!

A safe crossing over Main Street!

Turning onto Buchanan while Mr. Menser takes video of the approaching group.

Turning onto Buchanan Street
Approaching Wabash Street

Turning onto Wabash

Daniel Gibbs' wife, taking photos of the group as they approached the Central parking lot

Once at Central, they took part in their first safety and balance course, with Gibbs and Wheeler giving instructions and encouraging the young riders. With parents and siblings cheering them on, it was a great morning to be outdoors, having fun and getting some great exercise.

Mr. Wheeler explaining the bicycle obstacle course to the students

Mr. Wheeler showing how it's done!

Mr. Gibbs giving some final instructions

Students lining up to try out the obstacle course

But even better? The lessons all Central students will benefit from in the coming years. From the entire Central Elementary family and all of the #QuakerFaces, we say a big thank you to the Gibbs Family and GearUp Cyclery!

A Central father talking with Daniel Gibbs before the ride began.

Mrs. Meranda, an avid cyclist and former Technology Aide at Central, visited with Mr. Wheeler and Mrs. Dixon. Dixon teaches Kindergarten at Van Buren and is another avid cyclist.

Some four-legged friends even came along to cheer on the students!

Central Principal explaining to the students how the bicycles would be incorporated into their P.E. classes throughout the year.

Riding the obstacle course

Riding the obstacle course

Riding the obstacle course

Riding the obstacle course

Riding the obstacle course

Riding the obstacle course

Riding the obstacle course